One sure guarantee that a product has proven its worth is when it is ordered regularly by the same customer. A large customer as well, who really puts it through its paces, knows the demands. Solotec is one such customer for X-Tray.
Solotec is located in Åstorp near Helsingborg in Skåne province. The company specialises in the design, installation and programming of electrical power supplies, along with machine and electrical installations, switchboards and electrical service. Does this sound difficult? Well it is, but this is Solotec’s 20th year in the business. If further credibility is needed, then the company also works in the extremely hygiene-demanding food industry, which lives and thrives in Skåne, one of the country’s major agricultural areas. Food is mainly processed in factories where the handling is governed by stringent hygiene demands. This makes Solotec a large X-Tray customer for Axelent as it is used in all installations.
“X-Tray cable trays also have the best price so we use them in all our projects. We’ve even standardised them in our system so all the prices are available for a project from the outset, explains Lars Johansson,” a co-owner of Solotec.
Solotec has large customers. Björnekulla AB, whose sandwich pickle, marmalade, jams & jellies are found in most fridges in Sweden, recently moved their entire plant from Åstorp till Svalöv with the help of Solotec.
“We redesigned everything, which meant new cable routing and controls throughout the plant,” continues Lars Johansson. We also work a lot with 3N.
3N is in a class of its own when it comes to potato processing in Sweden: Eighty per cent of the processed potato eaten in Sweden has passed through 3N’s facility. Solotec has the service contract and manages all installations and moves.
“This entails a lot of weekend work at 3N. It’s a big workplace and machines are moved at weekends to avoid downtime. It means coming in and installing everything to have it up and running for first thing Monday.”
How does X-Tray live up to the demands of the food industry, in your opinion?
“Stainless steel is a basic requirement in the food industry and we won't get a better product at a better price anywhere else. Axelent has two different stainless designs: an acid-resistant, 316, and a normal stainless. Our customers use mainly the 316.”
Is anything else required to meet the demands of the food industry?
“Yes, there is. We normally tie all the cables together, but the food industry often requires them to lie flat to facilitate cleaning between them.
Axelent’s products are also adapted to the tray distance from the wall to help clean behind, and where the welded brackets are situated. The latter is only used on stainless and is both stronger and leaves no surfaces on which bacteria could flourish. This enables us to easily meet our customers’ demands with Axelent’s products.
„Sind Ihre Zäune denn auch robotersicher?“ Diese Frage müssen Schutzzaunhersteller seit ca. fünf Jahren täglich beantworten. Leider haben einige mit ihren Antworten nicht gerade zu einer rationalen Sicht des Themas beigetragen. Ein bisschen provokativ könnte man auf die Frage nämlich mit einer Gegenfrage antworten: „Müssen Zäune denn robotersicher sein?“ oder „Was soll denn mit „robotersicher“ gemeint sein, von welcher Art Roboter sprechen wir da?“
I still remember the first day I stepped in as the new CEO at Axelent. In fact, apart from a brief evening visit, it was also the first time I went to the company’s premises.
Wenden wir uns der letzten Frage zuerst zu. In der relativ kurzen Geschichte der Industrierobotik wurden Schutzzäune die meiste Zeit hauptsächlich – wenn nicht sogar ausschließlich – als ein Mittel verstanden, Personen aus dem Gefahrenbereich fernzuhalten. Zu Recht. Denn die Unfallhistorie der Robotik zeigt, dass Menschen von Robotern gestoßen oder auf andere Weise fast ausschließlich dann verletzt wurden, wenn sie in den Gefahrenbereich eindrangen. Dies geschah entweder versehentlich, weil es keine geeigneten/ausreichenden Schutzmaßnahmen gab, oder absichtlich, weil eine Person die Schutzeinrichtung umging oder manipulierte.